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Description of Values and Lifestyles. Explanation.


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Values and Lifestyles (VALS) FrameworkDefinition Values and Lifestyles. Description.

Values and Lifestyles is a way of market segmentation whereby consumers are segmented into mutually exclusive groups like "Achievers" or "Experiencers" based on their psychographics. Acronym is VALS.

The original VALS system was built by consumer futurist Arnold Mitchell, trying to explain changing U.S. values and lifestyles in the 1970s. Originally, there were three categories of consumers:

  • Need-directed. Consumers who make purchasing decisions based solely on need.

  • Outer-directed. Consumers who make purchases based on their perceptions of the way others view them.

  • Inner-directed. Consumers who make purchasing decisions out of some inner need.

In 1978, the concept was adopted by consulting firm SRI International who also own the trademark. 

In 1989, VALS was redefined to maximize its ability to predict consumer behavior. A team of experts from SRI International, Stanford University, and the University of California, Berkeley, determined that consumers should be segmented on the basis of enduring personality traits rather than social values that change over time.

The current eight VALS types are: Innovators, Thinkers, Achievers, Experiencers, Believers, Strivers, Makers, and Survivors. Each group is based on two dimensions: primary motivation (ideals, achievement, and self-expression) and resources (energy, self-confidence, intellectualism, novelty seeking, innovativeness, impulsiveness, leadership, and vanity).

VALS segmentation unlike traditional segmentation begins with people instead of products and classifies them into different types, each characterized by a unique style of living - it then determines how marketing factors fit into their lives. This perspective provides a three-dimensional view of the target consumer.

Some of the uses to which VALS segmentation has been put are:

  • To identify whom to target and find niche markets much more easily.

  • To locate where concentrations of your target group lives.

  • To gain insight into why the target group acts the way it does.

  • To improve and introduce products that speak to customers' values.

  • To target marketing and advertising campaigns much more effectively and much more accurately.

  • To position products much more accurately in the marketplace. .

Values and Lifestyles Forum
  Lifestyle Segmentation: Experiencers
What are the type of people who make up experie...
  Values and Lifestyles (VALS) - Survivors Profile
Survivors live narrowly focused lives. With few re...
  Values and Lifestyles (VALS) - Makers Profile
Like Experiencers, Makers are motivated by self-ex...
  Values and Lifestyles (VALS) - Strivers Profile
Strivers are trendy and fun loving. Because they a...
  Values and Lifestyles (VALS) - Believers Profile
Like Thinkers, Believers are motivated by ideals. ...
  Values and Lifestyles (VALS) - Experiencers Profile
Experiencers are motivated by self-expression. As ...
  Values and Lifestyles (VALS) - Achievers Profile
Achievers are motivated by the desire for achievem...
  Values and Lifestyles (VALS) - Thinkers Profile
Thinkers are motivated by ideals. They are mature,...
  Values and Lifestyles (VALS) - Innovators Profile
Innovators are successful, sophisticated, take-cha...

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